« AnteriorContinuar »
P. 1, 1. 5. Every schoolboy knows. “ Lord Macaulay s schoolboy" has become a familiar expression for a boy-prodigy ; yet Macaulay certainly does not credit him with a wider reading or more general information than he himself possessed at an early age. " From the time that he was three years old he read incessantly, for the most part lying on the rug before the fire, with his book on the ground and a piece of bread and butter in his hand. A very clever woman, who then lived in the house as parlour-maid, told how he used to sit in his nankeen frock, perched on the table by her as she was cleaning the plate, and expounding to her out of a volume as big as himself” (Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, vol. i. p. 27). At the age of seven he composed a Universal History from "the Creation to the present time.” To his own wonderful precocity, and the great care of his parents to prevent his being aware that he possessed exceptional powers, may be attributed his habitual overestimate of the average knowledge of people in general. It is to be regretted that the want of interest in India's history and doings is scarcely less marked now in Englishmen, in and out of Parliament, than it was in 1840.
P. 1, 1. 6. Whoimprisoned Montezuma. Montezuma II., surnamed the Younger, ninth king of Mexico, was born in 1476, and reigned from 1502 to 1520—a man somewhat distinguished as a general, but arrogant, superstitious, and sensual. He enervated his strength of mind and body by his excessive indulgences; and, though by his superiority in war he extended his dominion over neighbouring territories, he ruined himself in the affections of his people by his contemptuous persecution of plebeians. Hernando Cortez (1485-1554), a man of distinguished ability and wonderful resource, but cold-blooded and cruel, quitted the study of the law for the profession of arms, and sailed with Velasquez for Cuba in 1511, and from thence to Mexico in command of the Spanish expedition of 1518. He burnt his ships on landing to ensure the valour of his soldiers ; and, being received at first with courtesy by the Mexicans, proceeded by an act of treachery to seize and imprison their king. Montezuma was, however, soon released on professing himself a vassal of Charles V.; out the peopie rising against the tyranny of Cortez, the Spaniards besieged and reduced the city of Mexico, and overran the entire territories, committing almost incredible atrocities. Montezuma accidentally received a mortal wound during a second siege of Mexico by the Mexicans, and Cortez was rewarded by Charles V. with the title of Marquis.
P. 1, 1. 6. Who strangled Atahualpa. Atahualpa, or Atabalipa, twelfth and last Inca of Peru, on the death of his father, In 1523, entered into a contest for the throne with the more legitimate claimant, his half-brother Huascar. He defeated Huascar and imprisoned him, and is said to have put to death 200 of the royal family. When Francisco Pizarro landed with Almagro in Peru, in 1531, both brothers sought his help. Pretending to take the part of the reigning Inca, Pizarro lured him to a meeting near Caxamarca, and there taking him prisoner, horribly massacred his defenceless retinue. After this, the Spanish adventurer extorted an enormous ransom from his prisoner, and then tried him for a pretended conspiracy, and condemned him to be burnt. As Atahualpa consented to become a Christian, he was rewarded by being first strangled. In 1535 Pizarro laid the foundation of Lima. In 1537 he defeated And executed Almagro, who had become jealous of his power ; but in 1541 he was himself assassinated in his own palace by the son and friends of Almagro.
P. 1, l. 9. Who won the battle of Buxar. Near the town of Buxar, in Bengal, on October 23, 1764, Major, afterwards Sir Hector, Monro gained a great victory over the Nabob of Oude, the hereditary Prime Minister of the Emperor. Six thousand of the natives were killed, and 160 pieces of cannon were taken. The loss of the English was trifling. It is somewhat peculiar that Macaulay makes no further reference to this battle. It was scarcely less important than Plassey. The Nabob (i.e. Nawab, ruler of a province), Sujah-ud-Dowlah, was the only chief of any importance in the north, and the victory thus made the English complete masters of the valley of the Ganges from the Himalayas to the sea.
P. 1, l. 9. The massacre of Patna. Meer Cassim, Nabob of Bengal, having been overthrown by the English in the battle of Gheriah on August 2, 1763, proceeded by way of revenge to massacre the English prisoners at Patna, together with Ramnarayun, the deposed governor, Raja-raj-bullub, governor of Dacca, and his sons, and the Moorshedabad bankers. (See note, p. 129.)
: P. 1, l. 11. Holkar. Jeswunt Rao Holkar was a Hindu Mahratta chief, and long a very formidable enemy to the English in central India. In 1805 he was compelled by them to surrender all his maritime provinces ; but the insurrection of the Pindarees in 1807 induced him again to take up arms. The defection of his ally the Peishwa deranged his operations, and he was ultimately deprived of two-thirds of his dominions. He died in 1811.
P. 1, 1. 12. The victories of Cortez were gained over savages, &c. Macaulay's information is not exact on this point. The Mexicans, or Aztecs, were not altogether ignorant of the use of metals. “The wealthier chiefs wore ... a cuirass made of thin plates of gold or silver.” (Prescott's Conquest of Mexico, i. 41.) " Their helmets were sometimes of silver." (Ibid. i. 42). Prescott likewise says of the soldiers that “their discipline was so good as to draw forth the encomiums of the Spanish conquerors." The MSS. of the Mexicans are described by Prescott (i. 90-95), and the dramatic writings of the Peruvians by Helps. (Spanish Conquest in America, iii. 481.) The Mexicans were, moreover, civilised enough to have hospitals for the cure of the sick, which served also as refuges for decayed soldiers. As to the fear of horses, Helps tells us (iv. 61) that the Peruvians invariably killed all they could get hold of.
P. 1, 1. 18. Harquebusier. Arquebuss is derived from the Dutch haeckbuyse, haeckbusse, and means a gun fired from a rest, from haeck, A.S. hæcce, the hooked or forked rest on which it is supported, and busse, German büchse, A.S. buc, a pot, also a fire
In Scotch it was called a hagbut of croche. P. 2, I. 1. Buildings more beautiful, &c. Amongst these may be mentioned Shah Jehan's red granite palace at ShâhJehânpoor, or new Delhi, the Jumma Musjed mosque in the same city, the Jain temples at Ajmeer, the beautiful Taj Mahal, which Shah Jehan raised as a mausoleum for his queen at Agra, and the granite and marble tomb of Humayun at Delhi.
P. 2, 1. 4. Ferdinand the Catholic. Ferdinand V., son of John II., king of Navarre and Aragon, and husband of Isabella of Castile, was born in 1452. The chief events of his long and distinguished reign were the conquest of Granada, the establishment of the
Inquisition, and the discoveries of Columbus under his patronage. The pomp and pageantry of his court are vividly described by Prescott in his History, which was published in 1838. Ferdinand died in 1516.
P. 2, 5. Long trains of artillery. This is somewhat of an exaggeration, for artillery was used only on a limited scale by the natives. (See the admirable appendix “On the early use of gunpowder in India," in vol. vi. of Sir H. Elliot's History of India as told by its own historians.) Speaking of gunpowder, Sir H. Elliot says "this destructive agent appears to have fallen into disuse before we reach authentic history" (vol. vi. 482). He also states (ibid. p. 468) that “the experienced artillerists of Bengal" mentioned by Baber were probably pupils of the Portuguese, and that they used rockets much more commonly than cannon-balls.
P. 2, 1. 6. The Great Captain. Gonsalvo Hernandez de Cordova, born of a noble family near Cordova in Spain, in 1453, so far distinguished himself in the wars against the Moors under Ferdinand and Isabella, and again in the recovery of Naples from the French (who had taken it under Charles VIII. in 1495), as to gain the title of "the Great Captain." When Louis XII, renewed the invasion of Italy, Gonsalvo again drove out the French, and was made viceroy of Naples ; but, incurring the jealousy of Ferdinand, he retired to Granada, and there died in 1515.
P. 2, 1. 15. Mr. Mill's book. James Mill, political economist and historian, was born in Kincardineshire in 1774. He published the History of British India, a work of great research and powerful reasoning, in 1818. Most readers agree in Macaulay's estimate of it. Mill died in 1836.
P. 2, l. 17. Orme. Robert Orme, historian and distinguished servant of the East India Company, was born at Anjengo, in the East Indies, in 1728. He published the first volume of his History of the Military Transactions of the British in Hindostan in 1763, and the second in 1778. He died in 1801. It is interesting to notice that Macaulay makes great use of Orme's History, employing his very words in numerous cases. Orme was personally acquainted with Clive, and himself witnessed much of what he relates.
P. 2, 1. 28. Sir John Malcolm. Sir John Malcolm, a distinguished soldier and diplomatist, was born in 1769. He spent most of his life in the service of the East India Company, filling at last the post of governor of Bombay in 1827. In 1831 he returned to England, and devoted the remaining years of his life to parliament, and to literary pursuits. His most valuable work is the History of Persia. He died in 1833, and a monument was erected to bis memory in Westminster Abbey.
P. 2, 1. 28. The late Lord Powin. Clive's eldest son, Edward, born March 7, 1754. P.
3, 1. 8. Whose love passes the love of biographers. A form of expression borrowed from 2 Sam. i. 26, “Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." Like Burke (and like Ruskin at the present day) Macaulay was so saturated with the noble language of our Recognized Version of the Bible, that its phrases and turns of expression are to be found on almost any of his pages, though often the reference is so slight that only the faintest flavour of the original is to be perceived. The best example is perhaps the following : “The iron had not yet entered into the soul. The time was not yet come when eloquence was to be gagged, and reason to be hoodwinked, when the harp of the poet was to be hung up on the willows of the Arno, and the right hand of the painter was to forget its cunning.” (Essay on Machiavelli.)
P. 3, l. 11. The severe judgment of Mr. Mill. "With great audacity, both military and political, fortunately adapted to the scene in which he acted, and with considerable skill in the adaptation of temporary expedients to temporary exigencies, he had no capacity for a comprehensive scheme, including any moderate anticipation for the future." (History of British India, vol. iii. p. 492.) Mr. Mill likewise charges Clive with a very artful care for his own interests, and some amount of insolence in his conduct to the directors; and states in another place (iii. 170) that " Clive was a person to whom deception, when it suited his purpose, never gave a pang."
P. 3, 1. 31. The old seat of his ancestors. Styche, in the parish of Moreton Say.
P. 4, 1. 5. Says one of his uncles. Mr. Bayley, of Hope Hall, near Manchester, who had married a sister of Mrs. Clive, and with whom Robert Clive had lived from his third year—why it is not clear, unless it were from economical motives. The remark occurs in a letter written in 1732, Clive's seventh year.
P. 4, 1. 17. He was sent from school to school. The first was at Lostocke in Cheshire, the last two, Merchant Taylors' School and a private academy in Hemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire.
P. 4, l. 20. One of his masters. AD. Eaton, who is said to have predicted that, “if his scholar lived to be a man, and opportunity for the exertion of his talents were afforded, he would win for